The project's been in the works for a while, but now it's finally coming to fruition and I'm very excited to announce the Boston ARTchives - a community supported art library! I'm joining eight other Boston-area artists in putting our work up for rent. It's a little bit like Netflix, a little bit like CSA, and a lot a bit like awesome. Here's the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 16, 2010 BOSTON, MA
Local artists begin lending out art through new hybrid of CSA and product-sharing models.
Drawing on the themes and spirit of popular CSA and product-sharing models, a new local art library, Boston ARTchives, is now accepting subscribers for the 2011 art year. Nine Boston area artists are pooling together their art into a diverse and vibrant ninety piece collection, from which subscribers will select local art every four months to enjoy on their own local walls.
During that lending period they will have the right to match any sale price offered to the artist for the borrowed art. After each lending period, they will exchange that art for new art. Their subscription fees and sales revenue will be distributed amongst the artists. The library itself resides online so that Boston ARTchives can save on overhead and keep fees low.
Interested parties can contact Boston ARTchives through its website, www.bostonartchives.com or email Dan Nolan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORIGIN OF THE IDEA
Artists contribute greatly to their communities yet struggle to survive in those communities. People value having artists around, but don’t have affordable access to the art. The current model of selling/sharing art has failed both parties. Meanwhile, the art sits on studio shelves.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs create mutually beneficial relationships between consumers and local farmers. Farmers sell “shares” at the beginning of the season; consumers receive fresh local veggies throughout the season. They meet each other, foster a sense of community, and share risk – the fate of the farmer’s crops becomes the fate of the community’s produce. Tens of thousands of families have signed up and CSA popularity continues to rise. Fishermen and bakers have adapted the model to their trades, with great success.
The last decade also brought the evolution of product-sharing models. Entrepreneurs used the internet to turn old archetypes of libraries, video stores, and car rental agencies, into new enterprises large (Netflix, Zipcar) and small (local tool banks). Product-sharing models make expensive items affordable.
Boston ARTchives applies these models to art. It’s not quite a CSA because art isn’t seasonal or consumable and each piece is unique. But Boston ARTchives begins with the spirit of CSA (supporting local industry, fostering sense of community, sharing risk), and incorporates the efficiency of product-sharing models to create three new streams of revenue for artists (subscription fees, sales of their work, and sales of other artists‘ work). Subscribers make supporting local art a reality and enjoy a rotating exhibit of that art in their homes, allowing them to experience the thrill of being a collector without the prohibitive expense and storage concerns.